There's a good chance you'll need an important document notarized at some point. This is done by a notary licensed by your state. The purpose of this official is to verify your identity and watch you sign the documents. This reduces the risk of fraud, so notarization is often required for legal and financial documents.
These are details to know about using a notary service.
Make Sure The Documents Are Complete
The documents you want to be notarized should be filled out completely except for your signature. Don't leave any fields blank or the notary may not be allowed to proceed.
Keep in mind, the notary is there to verify your identity and witness your signature. They can't offer legal advice or help you fill out a document. They have to stay within the scope of their license or they could lose their license to practice.
Bring Government Identification
When you call the service for an appointment, ask what type of identification is acceptable. You'll probably need something issued by the government, such as a state ID, passport, or driver's license. If another person is signing the document too, they'll also need to show their ID.
The Fees May Vary
According to the regulations of your state, the notary might be allowed to set their own prices for their services. However, there may be a cap on what they're allowed to charge. When you call for an appointment, be sure to ask what the fee is so you'll be prepared to pay.
If you use a mobile service instead that comes to your home or office, they might be allowed to charge travel fees, so you'll want to know that in advance before you set your appointment.
Notarizing A Document Doesn't Take Too Long
Notarization is fairly quick for a simple form. However, if you're having a complex contract or mortgage papers notarized, it could take much longer. Complex documents usually cost more too, because of the extra time they take.
The notary has to work carefully to make sure there are no blank lines and no errors on the form before they notarize it, so they'll need to look over every page. They'll also check your ID to make sure the photo matches you and the name matches the name on the document.
The Notary Follows State Regulations
Most types of documents can be notarized. However, your state may not allow certain official documents to be copied or notarized. For instance, if you want a copy of a death certificate, you may need to get it from your county records office rather than making a copy and having it notarized.